Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Adityahridayam - A classic in its own right

The sermon of Bhagavad Gita is largely considered to be a spiritual classic not only its esoteric contents, but also for the fact that it was enunciated on a battle field to a trepidus warrior . Its eighteen chapters are the crown jewel of the Mahabharata and looked upon as one of the most profound insights into the nature of Self.

Interestingly, the Ramayana also contains an intense spiritual discourse by Sage Agastya to none other than the God incarnate Rama. In thirty plithy aphorisms, the eminent sage wakes Rama from the stupor of battle fatigue and gives him a glimpse of his real self. The poem is called 'Adityahrydayam'. It is a prayer that is chanted everyday in a million Indian homes . Unfortunately, we dont regard it as a masterpiece of spiritual literature in the same breath as the Bhagavad Gita, for the simple reason that the battle in Lanka is not as dramatic a setting as Kurukshetra was; and secondly, here the Lord himself is in a state of self doubt and hence not very encouraging; and thirdly, Valmiki decided not to record this as a momentous sermon but merely as simple monologue clothed in the imagery of poetry. However,The deep purport of this majestic poem is to get Rama up on his feet again, shake of his illusory doubts about the sanctity of warfare and realize his destiny; and in that sense it plays the same role as the Gita does.

I was listening passively to "AdityaHridayam" in the morning as I sat eating my breakfast. I was suddenly hit by the enormous depth and beauty of its verses. There is no reasoning here, but a simple appeal to ones capacity to rise above circumstances. Listen to this :

''Raama Raama mahaabaaho shrnu guhyam sanaatanam yena sarvaanariinvatsa samare vijayishhyasi.
Aaditya hrudayam punyam sarva shatru vinaashanam Jayaavaham japennityam akshayyam paramam shivam. "

A free translation would read thus:

"Oh mighty-armed, listen to this eternal secret, which will help you destroy all your enemies in battle.This holy hymn dedicated to the realization of the Self will result in destroying all enemies and bring you victory and never ending supreme bliss.''

The rhythmic cadence of this chant in chaste Sanskrit lulls the effervescent mind and brings it to a state of reverential rest. There is no intellection here and the sheer simplicity of these verses touches the heart and brings about a transformation of consciousness. Thank God, we dont have to analyse and dissect this great poem. Its true beauty and gravity lies in its divine innocence...

God bless...

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